Nancy Rommelmann

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When in Venice . . .

Loud music, rude servers and odd art can all be forgiven, ignored or overlooked at a restaurant where one likes the food. But no matter how sweet the staff, how pleasing the room or how happy the customers appear to be, without regular flashes of kitchen brilliance, one has a......
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One Mojito, Two Mojito, Three Mojito, Floor

The best Cuban food I‘ve eaten in Los Angeles has been earthy, and served in no-decor places like Versailles, where the garlic chicken is succulent and citrusy, and the only ornamentation is a shrine to Santa Barbara (the saint, not the city). Expensive, elaborate Cuban food strikes me as an......
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My Three Sons

Let me introduce my three boys, Antonio, Giuseppe and Johnny Stifano. Actually, they‘re not my boys in any sense of the phrase, as I am not their mother, nor are they in love with me. And yet, dining as I have these past few months at Michelangelo, I have developed......
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Sweet Surrender

Several years ago, while researching bakeries in Los Angeles, I tasted dainties from San Pedro to the San Fernando Valley. While I did not find a lot of great bread (which will come as no surprise to anyone searching for a decent loaf of Italian), I did enjoy excellent pastries......
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Slow Food

Photo by Anne Fishbein Enlarge image Stew is the stuff of memory, and, as such, can be very good: my mother’s blanquette, veal in velvety cream (served one time taffy-sweet, when she accidentally used confectioner’s sugar instead of flour in her roux); the peppery, fruity lapin aux pruneaux I ate,......
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Pow!

Naming a restaurant Temple implies a certain confidence in one‘s ability to provide tranquillity. Playing against type, by situating the restaurant in an old Googie diner, appeals to the L.A. pop preference for anything-goes transcendence. But Korean food with “Brazilian overtones”? That might be taking a bigger bite than can......
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A Happening Plate

Art by Dottie-Boy for DottievisionTM I tend not to dine where I drink, because the fare at nightclubs is rarely more than incidental: a chip here, a tapa there, finger foods whose main purpose is to provide ballast for the alcohol. Which is why I did not expect much in......
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Someone’s in the Kitchen

For over a decade NOW, there’s been a trend for new restaurants to offer up old-style comfort foods: mashed potatoes and meat loaves and fruit crumbles meant to evoke the family meals of our collective memory of the time when Mom was doing the cooking. But while places called Eat......
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Wet Versus Dry

Barbecue is a divisive subject. How to cook the meat, and how to sauce it, dry rub or wet, and on which side of the Mason-Dixon Line are the stuff of tomes, and, I’d wager, lives lost. Like fried chicken, another American victual anyone with a little meat and heat......
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Saladang Song

The food at the seemingly millions of Thai restaurants in my neighborhood tends to taste like little more than the Styrofoam boxes it comes in. I could avoid this by eating in, yet since most establishments are even shorter on good looks than they are on good cooking, why should......
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